Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is a strategic asset of the nation, and the Modi government is helping the telco by giving it money for the 4G spectrum and becoming competitive, said Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister of India.
According to a PTI report, Sitharaman accused the previous government of bringing BSNL to the state of ‘almost death’. The Finance Minister was responding to the allegations put by Arvind Sawant, a member of Shiv Sena in Lok Sabha.
Sawant had said that the Modi government is helping private telecom operators such as Vodafone Idea (Vi) while killing the state-owned BSNL and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL).
Sitharaman Said Congress Government Made BSNL Lose 10 Years
In a serious state of allegations, Sitharaman responded back by saying BSNL lost ten years because of the previous government. The Finance Minister accused the previous government of 2G exploitation by allowing corruption to take place.
Sitharaman reminded everyone that when the Modi government came to power in 2014, the state-run telco had no money to pay salaries. However, with the help from the NDA government, BSNL was provided funds so that the company could offer its employees Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) and clear all the previous dues, the Finance Minister added.
Further, the Modi government is giving BSNL thousands of crores so that it can purchase 4G spectrum and launch 4G network services.
It is worth noting that BSNL’s situation is not much better as the telco is continuously losing subscriber market share in the mobile business due to not having 4G. In fact, BSNL’s market share in the fixed-line service market is also going away to the private companies, which is a bad sign for the state-run telco. Later this year, BSNL is expected to launch its 4G services in multiple parts of the country. What’s special about this is it will be homegrown 4G and will give users another option to consume services apart from the private telcos.